Report: More than 200 scouts attended recent workout for Cuban infielder Hector Olivera

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Hector Olivera defected from Cuba last September in hopes of signing with an MLB team and he’s drawing plenty of interest.

According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, more than 200 scouts attended a workout for Olivera last week in the Dominican Republic. The 29-year-old second baseman still has to be cleared by the U.S. government before signing with the a team, but Sanchez writes that the Giants, Padres, Rangers, Braves, and Yankees are among the teams showing strong interest in him.

Olivera has long been considered one of the best players in Cuba. In fact, Baseball America ranked him as the No. 6 player in Cuba last August, but he carries some questions due to his age and injury history. He missed the entire 2012-13 season due to thrombosis in his left biceps and hasn’t played in any international competition since. However, he batted .316/.412/.474 with seven home runs over 273 plate appearances in his return to Serie Nacional last season while amassing more walks (38) than strikeouts (25), so he can still get it done with the bat. It’s worth noting that he spent a lot of his time at DH, so he might have to prove that he can stick at second base stateside.

At least 16 MLB teams pledge more stipends to minor leaguers

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NEW YORK (AP) At least 16 major league franchises have informed minor leaguers they will continue to provide allowances after the May 31 expiration of Major League Baseball’s policy guarantying those players $400 per week.

The Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners are promising payments through August, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks have pledged to do so through at least June. The White Sox are even providing those stipends to 25 minor league players recently released.

The Philadelphia Phillies also plan to continue allowances through June, but likely at a reduction from the $400 per week rate. The amount is to be determined, the team said.

Oakland said Tuesday it will suspend pay for all minor leaguers at the end of the month. The Athletics are the only team to announce an end to the allowances.

MLB suspended spring training and postponed the start of the minor league season in March due to the novel coronavirus, leaving low-paid minor league players in lurch. The league

March 19 that provided most non-40-man roster players signed to minor league deals with stipends through April 8, and it later extended the policy through May 31.

The allowances were a pay raise for many players, with minimum salaries ranging from $290 per week at Class A to $502 per week at Triple-A over the five-month season.

MLB and the players’ association are

to start the major league season later in the summer, but it seems likely there will not be a minor league season. Some teams have reportedly begun to release players who aren’t top prospects and won’t figure into their 2020 MLB rosters. The White Sox are the only club to say it will extend allowances to players recently released.

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